Last month, Dr. Michael Sherman, Harvard Pilgrim’s Senior VP & Chief Medical Officer, represented Harvard Pilgrim—and the health plan industry in general—at a convening of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which was held at the White House.

At the meeting, Dr. Sherman shared examples of how Harvard Pilgrim is working to address insurance issues related to the opioid epidemic. These include the work our pharmacists are undertaking alongside the Governor’s task force in Massachusetts, designing plans that don’t require preauthorization for life-saving treatments, and funding quality grants that support provider organizations in more effectively managing patients on high-dose opioids. He also spoke about the work Harvard Pilgrim is doing to support non-pharmacologic treatment for addiction, such as mindfulness and acupuncture. In his testimony, Dr. Sherman encouraged the commission to develop recommendations that encourage all participants in the system to engage in similar actions. He also called for regulatory changes that would eliminate barriers to sharing information about opioid challenges with other stakeholders such as with a member’s own PCP.

As one of a small number of health plans invited to provide testimony, Harvard Pilgrim was proud to have a seat at the table. We will continue to demonstrate leadership in combating the opiate crisis.